By: Daniel Echoda
Early results in the new Premier League season may suggest that Manchester City have begun their seasonal domination to win it subsequently. The Cityzens, despite winning five in the last six titles, now sit on top of the log with the maximum points possible in this season’s campaign.
However, even with their brilliance, there are a few reasons why you should not expect Manchester City to have the league on a silver platter this time.
If “lonely at the top” describes any team in the 2022/23 season of the English Premier League, it is Arsenal. The Gunners had a season to forget, especially to their fans. They gave their all, but finished with nothing, save a Champions League spot as they lost the title narrowly with five points.
Even to the last couple of matches last season, it was almost as if the Premier League silverware was bound for the Emirates, courtesy of one of the youngest teams in the league at the time. Still, City would later claim the title for the third time in a row, even though Arsenal were on top for a record 248 days!
Maybe a consolation for them is that they later beat the champions to the Community Shield at Wembley earlier this season.
Nonetheless, the same and arguably a better Arsenal team and other top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle United look equal to the task this season.
If the performances since gameweek 1 are anything to go by, you would have seen a revived Reds, a promising United, a strong Blues, and a Newcastle side – who are fast becoming a major threat, all in for the title race, alongside the Gunners and the Cityzens who slugged it out last season. And like it is said, this is football, and anything is possible, so it is not wide off the mark to mention others like Brighton, West Ham and Aston Villa, who have entertained us with some good football since the start of the season.
This goes to show that we should not expect a prolonged stay at the top of the log by any of the teams; you should not even expect a two-horse race.
Besides, there are issues with the champions you cannot overlook. Despite some good signings in the summer transfer window, Kevin De Bruyne’s injury is a big blow.
They have a better win rate with the Belgian than when he is not playing. And although it remains to be seen whether or not the injury affects the team’s performance, as City have remained dogged despite the injury to their key man, the fact that he will be out for ‘some months’ is definitely something to worry about for the Cityzens.
It may be too early to call, but many teams appear to be as good or even better than the Arsenal side which challenged for the title last season. So, City need to belt up if they will do it again. And yes, time will tell whether these other teams will be consistent, but early results show that they are up for the task.
The results so far show they are up for the fight to win the most-coveted league title again, and even more this season. But it would be overstretched to say it would be as easy as previous seasons.
Pundits and bookmarkers have rightly tipped them to do it again like in previous years, but the other clubs will not go down without a fight.